State officials have drafted a plan that could organize the state's first bear-hunt lottery in more than 150 years, according to The Hartford Courant.
The paper's report states that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is set to review the plan to rid the state of a portion of its increasing bear population with the use of a rare bear-hunting season.
Information about the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) plan comes just days after a Poquonock man was charged with negligent hunting and the illegal killing of a black bear.
DEEP officials said on Jan. 5 that John G. Rocha, 82, allegedly shot the bear with a .30 caliber rifle after happening upon the omnivore causing damage to a bird feeder on his property.
While a plan is to be reviewed by the governor, DEEP officials told The Courant that it does not signal a decision to open bear-hunting season.
The DEEP Chief of Wildlife, William Hyatt, told The Courant that the plan will provide the agency with "a tool that might be useful" should a bear hunt be deemed necessary in the future.
Given the increase in black bear population and the fact that bear hunting or trapping in the state is illegal, DEEP provides a number of guidelines on its website to help residents learn to adapt to life with bears.
DEEP advises that residents report bear sightings in their neighborhood to the department, but adds that "the mere presence of a bear does not necessitate removal."
DEEP adds that "as bears become more regular residents of Connecticut towns, it is important that people learn to adapt to the presence of bears and take measures to avoid damage and problems. If people do not take precautions, problem behavior by bears can increase, possibly leading to bears being removed or destroyed."
A full list of black bear do's and dont's, as provided by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, can be found on the department's website.